Mell Achilles Nash was the first chancellor of the Oklahoma State System of Higher Education, serving from 1943 to 1961.
Nash held vital positions in education prior to becoming chancellor, including president of Oklahoma College for Women at Chickasha, superintendent of public instruction for Oklahoma and president of the Oklahoma State Board of Education and the Oklahoma Education Association.
Nash began his teaching career in one-room schools at Willow in Greer County and another in Pontotoc County. He served as principal for Granite and Madill public schools and as superintendent of schools in Noble, Idabel and Madill.
Nash served as high school inspector for Oklahoma, after a brief teaching post at Southeastern State College (now Southeastern Oklahoma State University) in Durant. He attracted considerable attention as an educator and became the editor of the Oklahoma Teacher, manager of the Oklahoma Education Association, state superintendent of public instruction, president of the Oklahoma State Board of Education and president of the Oklahoma College for Women.
Academic Credentials and Honors
Nash graduated from Central Normal in 1908, where he eventually earned a lifetime teaching certificate. He received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Oklahoma in 1919 and a Master of Arts degree in 1926. He also attended the University of Michigan and Oklahoma Baptist University. OBU honored him in 1923 with the presentation of the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws.
Nash died at the age of 90 on May 10, 1981, in Edmond, Okla.